Adrian Mannarino confirms his return to form. Last week in Cologne, he broke a spiral of 5 consecutive defeats by chaining two successes before falling to Alexander Zverev, not without pushing him to play a third set. This week he will also be at the quarterfinals of another ATP 250 tournament, the Astana Open. In Kazakhstan, the French started directly in the second round thanks to his number 3 seeded status and he left only two small games (6-1, 6-1) Thursday to the Japanese Yuichi Sugita in 1:01 of play.
After making his first commitment, Sugita, the 101st player in the world, suffered a real surge. Mannarino scored 9 consecutive games from 0-1 to 6-1, 3-0, taking full control of the game. In service, yet not his strong point, the left-hander did wonders with 63% of firsts, 6 aces, no double faults and above all 92% of points gained behind his … second ball (he only lost one). one in 13). Powerless to raise, Sugita did not get a break point and narrowly avoided in both sets to be inflicted a “bubble” (a 6-0). Little consolation.
Pair still too short
To open the doors to the last four, Mannarino will have to win either against Andreas Seppi or against Mackenzie McDonald. Of the quarterfinals, it will unfortunately not even be a question for Benoît Paire. Seed number 1 in Kazakhstan, the native of Avignon hoped to revive and find pleasure on the court. But on Thursday, he failed to change his negative dynamic (only one match won since the resumption of the circuit in the 1st round of Roland-Garros).
After leading by a set and a break (7-6, 3-0), the Frenchman gradually lost track to finally bow in three sets (6-7, 7-6, 6-1) and 2:14 against the local Mikhail Kukushkin, 91st player in the world. Each time Paire has been offensive, he has yet become detached against an opponent largely within his reach. But he paid dearly for his wanderings, still too numerous (42 unforced errors for 38 winning strokes), as during a catastrophic 7th game in the second where he literally offered the breakthrough on a plateau.
Symbol of his current state of form and confidence, he opened the tie-break of this second round … with a double fault. Suddenly much more static, he could only put up a very modest resistance in the final act. It is time for this 2020 season to end for Paire who should nevertheless line up at Bercy next week.